Home Movies: How To Film In the Delivery Room

All families tend to shoot home movies with the big start of this trend normally being the birth of the first child. However, filming in the delivery room is not as easy or straightforward as you may think. There are many different things to consider and be aware of as there are legal implications of filming the birth. There are also some tips that can help produce the best birth video as it is not possible to go back and do it again if the results are not satisfactory.

Step 1. Permission

If the birth is occurring in a hospital then permission is required for any cameras in the delivery room. If permission is granted then normally a release form from any of the attending medical staff is also necessary. Be aware that filming may be restricted from a specific spot. The staff are only concerned about the health and safety of the child and mother, not about your camera angles.

Step 2. Talk to the Mother

Speak to the mother about what she wants included in the film. It is important to consider her modesty and privacy. Speaking to the mother beforehand is a very important step that should be taken care of before shooting.

Step 3. What to Expect

If the photographer is not part of the family, it is suggested that they tour the delivery room and attend a birthing class so they know what to expect. There are also pictures and videos available to help determine the desired shots. Planning beforehand can make the process much smoother.

Step 4. Tripod

If possible, see about filming with a tripod. A birth is a very powerful moment and even the most experienced of filmmakers will be moved by what is occurring. A tripod will eliminate any shaking or issues due to trembling. It also means that shooting can continue even if you are required to help the mother. This is especially recommended if the filmer is the father or a family member.

Step 5. Focus

Some shots can include the parents holding hands, the baby being held by the mother, the support team and more.

Step 6. Don't Save Film

Make sure the photographer has plenty of film, tape or space on the video card. This event does not happen often and it is an issue if there is not enough room for plenty of shots. Take lots of shots of the birth. It is easier to erase the bad ones afterward rather than being disappointed that you didn't take a specific shot in the first place.

Step 7. Hire a Professional

A father shooting the birth of his child is not the best person to be filming. Many times he will be too focused on shooting and will not participate in the birth or support his wife. If at all possible get someone else to take the video so that you can be an active participant in your child's birth.